The Roman Army of the Principate 27 BC-AD 117

Overview

The Imperial Army established by Augustus drew heavily on the nomenclature and traditions of the late Roman Republic, but was revolutionary in its design. He decided to meet all the military needs of the Empire from a standing, professional army. Military service became a career, and pay and service conditions were established that took account of the categories of soldier in the army: the Praetorian Guard, the citizen legionary troops, and the non-citizen auxiliaries. Enlistment was for 25 years (16 in the ...

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Overview

The Imperial Army established by Augustus drew heavily on the nomenclature and traditions of the late Roman Republic, but was revolutionary in its design. He decided to meet all the military needs of the Empire from a standing, professional army. Military service became a career, and pay and service conditions were established that took account of the categories of soldier in the army: the Praetorian Guard, the citizen legionary troops, and the non-citizen auxiliaries. Enlistment was for 25 years (16 in the Guard), and men were sometimes retained even longer. The loyalty of the new army was to the emperor as commander-in-chief, and not to either the Senate or the People of Rome. Imperial legions became permanent units with their own numbers and titles and many were to remain in existence for centuries to come.

Likewise, the auxiliary units (auxilia) of the army were completely reorganized and given regular status. Trained to the same standards of discipline as the legions, the men were long-serving professional soldiers like the legionaries and served in units that were equally permanent. Drawn from a wide range of peoples throughout the provinces, especially on the fringes of the Empire, the auxilia were non-citizens and would receive Roman citizenship upon completion of their twenty-five years under arms.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Nic Fields takes a look at how Rome's fighting men of the time were organized as well as the various leaders. He then goes into the way the populace looked upon and supported military service, the way Rome's legions were controlled and how Roman doctrine was enforced. There is also a section on Roman engineering in terms of fortresses and siege works. The book is enhanced by a superb selection of maps and charts as well as a look at surviving artifacts that help piece together one of the most turbulent periods of time in the Western world. It all makes for a book that is quite interesting and informative. Like all of Osprey's titles, it is one that you can buy with confidence in knowing you are getting the best." -Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness - www.modelingmadness.com (May 2009)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846033865
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/31/2009
  • Series: Battle Orders Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr Nic Fields started his career as a biochemist before joining the Royal Marines. Having left the military, he went back to University and completed a BA and PhD in Ancient History at the University of Newcastle. He was Assistant Director at the British School at Athens, Greece, and then a lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Edinburgh. Nic is now a freelance author and researcher based in south-west France.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 4

Roman military organization 6

Legion

Detachments

Auxiliaries

Weapons and equipment 23

Helmets

Body armour

Shields

Shafted weapons

Bladed weapons

Command and control 33

Legion command

Centuriate

Junior officers

Equestrian officers

Command and control in action

The Roman Army in battle 44

Roman tactical doctrine and practice

Legion

Auxiliaries

Engineering 50

Marching and practice camps

Forts and fortresses

Siegeworks

After Actium 57

Saltus Teutoburgiensis, a province lost

Mancetter, a province saved Second Cremona, a throne won

Mons Graupius, a battle too far

Pax Romana 81

Chronology 84

Roman emperors

Ancient authors 86

Josephus (b. AD 37)

Suetonius (b. c. AD 70)

Tacitus (b. c. AD 56)

Bibliography 89

Glossary 91

Legionary titles 93

Index 95

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